Arlington County, VA is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, with over 40% of household income devoted to housing and transportation costs. In some of the areas around the affordable, but previously disinvested, Clarendon Court apartments, these costs creep over 50%. In 2014, the owner of Clarendon Court signaled its interest in divesting the property. Arlington County, recognizing that the preservation of affordable housing was critical to its being able to retain and grow its workforce, stepped in with a right of first refusal to help find a buyer who would renovate the complex and, at the same time, preserve the affordability. McCormack Baron Salazar was selected as the new developer/owner. The lack of affordability in the county made the project significantly more complicated as existing residents would not be able to find affordable housing into which to relocate while the renovation was going on, so project planning not only included standard predevelopment work but also a rigorous and complex relocation (including on-site relocation) and reoccupancy plan. As a result of this work, all residents had the option to return to their original apartments.
The result of these efforts is the retention of 98 affordable apartment homes within a six minute walking distance of a D.C. Metro Station.